Well do you?
I read many books but I have to admit I do not read every single word in each book.
I also do not read every single page in the book.
And I also do not read every single section of the book.
Yes along with many other readers I usually jump right in at the start of the first chapter.
I ignore the acknowledgements, prefaces, table of contents etc. and head in to want I really desire to do which is to read the story.
But do I miss out on something important if I do this?
Well in my son's book (which is just published and sitting on our kitchen table as I write this) I would have missed out on a short, touching message if I had not read the dedication page.
Yes he mentions his mum and dad!!!
Then in a few other books I have had to go back and read the preface because I discovered I needed to have a bit of information from that section to actually know why something was specifically being handled in the books.
When I started reading the first chapter today I was tempted to skim over the first few verses - you know that bit where Luke is addressing Theophilus.
I was ready to treat it like it was just a necessary, polite greeting to someone and the important stuff would appear in the next section.
Oh how wrong I was and have been in the past because I have done exactly that before several times.
Today I really didn't get much further than the prologue, preface, greeting or whatever you want to call that first 3 verses because I did read them carefully and I learnt a few things from them.
You see I often plan to take notes and document pictures when I'm on a holiday and I start off well but never have I ever finished the task.
The evidence is in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of The Acts of the Apostles
3 years of documenting the ministry of Jesus and then many years of documenting the work of the Apostles and the early church.
We have a lot to learn from Luke.
And we have a lot to be thankful to Luke for.
Luke did not start well and then get bored, tired, lazy and not complete the task but instead he kept on faithfully working on this job God had brought him to.
Oh that we would start well and finish well as Luke did!
Then I have to wonder did he realize how important this recording of events and words and feelings would be down through the centuries for others like us?
He would not live to receive our thanks or acknowledgement of the time, effort and thought he put into this.
Oh that we would be willing to do our tasks without the need of recognition and thanks or any accolade for whatever we do for the Kingdom of God.
So why did I find those 3 verses so interesting?
Luke brings out 2 important points about Jesus in these first 3 verses.
- Jesus gave commands before His Ascension.
- Jesus revealed Himself after the resurrection to speak of the truths of the Kingdom of God.
Luke is pointing these facts out to his friend at the very start to introduce the importance of them, and of course Luke was there so He knows first-hand how important they were.
So whether we call these 3 verses an introduction, a prologue or a preface maybe I / We need to rethink how we approach the things we read if the first 3 verses of Acts 1 is indicative of a good prologue.
Makes you think even before you start reading the story.
I'm trying to read and write about the Book of Acts for 31 Days so please come back and join me for some notes & some thoughts each day.
Other Days can be found HERE